Khaki Shibori - The Story of how its Made

If you have followed me for a while, you will know about my love of ancient artisan techniques - especially Shibori. In my current Sand Swept collection, I have been lucky enough to showcase hand stitched Shibori, where each piece is lovingly stitched and then dyed, by hand, by my artisans in India..
Read more about the journey below.
Last year I wrote a detailed blog about the emergence of Shibori in India, known as 'Bandhani' which is the traditional, Indian, resist-dyeing technique. Dating back as far as the 6th century , women like the ones pictured here have been creating and wearing bandhani fabric. 

Forced to use natural and locally available products to create dyes, this forced the artisans in ancient times to become more creative. A way to create prints with the limited resources, it was an alternative to block printing. My Khaki Shibori dye, for instance, is a combination of tree bark and walnut shells. This dye process is in itself a true art form of centuries old trial and error. Once we have the dye created, we can then work on creating a custom made design and print, from scratch.

 This season adding to the Bandhani technique I tried my artisans on the Shibori technique which is slightly different. Instead of tying the fabric, artisans are actually stitching on the cloth, and so wherever there are stitches thats where the dye resists and you get to see the base fabric.

 Starting as almost all of my designs do, I sketch a pattern to share with my artisans, it must be in a geometrical fashion, as its easier to stitch stright lines and measure the repat. Which in this case will be a Khaki Shibori print. My sketch is then measured and checked, before being traced on folded fabric, it is then stitched along the traced lines and then prepped for dying. After dyed cloth is dry, the stitches are ripped open revealing the line and shape design underneath.  

The Myra Dress shown here really displays the labor of love and handiwork of my people, you can see two different designs as well, I took inspiration from traditional Japanese Shibori shapes because having just one custom Shibori design is not enough! 

Lastly, with all my custom hand made Shibori pieces, I do always suggest and recommend extra care be taken in the washing and care of them. Because after all I want you to be able to love and treasure dresses like this for a long time to come. Please wash them separately with gentle soap and hang dry in shade. 

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